Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stop Hate

Well folks, I have another serious post for you.

A few years back, my town heard we were going to have some unwanted visitors. Anyone ever hear of Fred Phelps or his family? The family from the Westboro Baptist Church, the ones that make outrageous claims against gay people and the soldiers in Iraq? If you have no idea what I'm taking about, take a minute or two and watch the following videos.

There you have it, nuts in a nutshell. In any case, these people came to my town's Mayor's Cup, and decided it'd be a good idea to protest against our gay mayor and say that he's doomed to hell and the like. This didn't bother me too incredibly much. After all, while Phelps was essentially protesting our mayor's sexuality, he was also protesting the town, and by doing that we united, backed up our mayor, and many joined the "Stop Hate" program. He eventually left... but guess what! He's coming back.

This time, he's not attacking the mayor (who's now out of office), he's attacking our schools. My high school and SUNY Plattsburgh are his new targets. My high school likes to promote tolerance, and therefore started a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), which a friend of mine was head of, and one of the founders for our school. Many students are members.

SUNY Plattsburgh also has a similar program I believe called the Laramie Project, which they focus on Matthew Shepard, the man who was murdered and tied to a fence for being gay.

All these programs do is promote peace and acceptance. Phelps and his little followers believe however that the people involved in this program are "sinners". So now they're planning a trip back here to protest at our schools.

This infuriates me. Kids, regardless of what gender(s) they want to sleep with have every single right to go to school without being hassled about who they decide to love. I wish I still went to that dreadful little high school, just so I could show them a thing or two. The thing that really gets to me, is the fact that what these people are doing is perfectly legal! This shit needs to end. Protesting should be preserved for things that improve the quality of life for other people, not for things that make people feel shitty about their lives and to promote hatred to a minority.

These people are part of the reason I'm an atheist. I don't want any part of some religious cult or otherwise. I like knowing that I have control of my life. I like believing that you're not a sinner for loving someone. More importantly, it's nice believing that masturbation isn't a sin either... If it is, I'm certainly going to this alleged "hell" faster than anyone else. I accept everyone regardless of their race, religion, orientation, whatever.

I'm not saying people who have a solid religion are all crazy like these people... That's certainly not what I mean. I have the upmost respect for any religion that doesn't preach hatred. These people, however, have not earned that respect.

Anyway, I felt I needed to say something about this. People like this who believe in causing torment in the lives of other people should be locked up and put in a looney bin if you ask me. I think lighting them on fire is a more fitting answer, but who am I to decide their fate.

I more than welcome your thoughts and opinions about anything mentioned in this blog.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Watch your mouth!

Today at my college was a special day. We had a fire drill! I've been at this school now for over 3 semesters, and not once have we had a fire drill. I was in the cafeteria and apparently it was someone's brilliant idea to not install fire alarms in teh cafeteria. I can't imagine why they would anyway. Lets face it, fires don't happen in places involving food and stoves. That's unheard of!

In any case, my friend Wendy and I went outside in the freezing cold air and stood around and joked about the people around us. I then reminded her of last week's episode of The Office, where they also had a fire drill. I then started quoting it and laughing about it.

As we were going back inside after the drill, I quoted this one part where Michael Scott said, "Stay fucking calm! JUST STAY FUCKING CALM!" and this lady who works at the school turned around and said, "HEY! Watch your mouth!" and she gave me a seriously angry look. I was so offended! I mean, not only was I not actually cursing at anyone in particular, but she has absolutely no right to tell me what I can and cannot say. I'm less then 2 weeks away from being 20 years old, and I don't need some old bat telling me to watch my mouth. Regardless of whether or not I was saying anything vulgar to her or anyone around me is none of her business. People really just need to let things go and not try to control what other people do or say. It was really asinine.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

"Jewelry, This is Dianne!"

I love pranks. I love plotting them, pulling them on people, and watching their usually horrified reaction. Lets face it, the best pranks are the ones that are borderline mean, but still funny.

One of my all time favorite pranks is one I pulled on my friend Dianne when she and I worked at Sears. I was working in the shoe department, and she was working in the adjacent department, jewelry.

One night, sometime last August, it was really slow I felt like being a little mean, so I devised a brilliant idea.

When you use the phones at Sears, there's numerous nifty things you can do with it. For instance, if you hit "8-1" you go over the intercom. If you hit "*-8", you can talk to another department over the speakerphone on their phone, which usually subsequently scares the crap out of them. Scaring people like that though is a bit tired, but still a little funny, especially when you make noises into the phone. It's also fun to do that and pretend to be a customer and say "Hello, ma'am? Can you help me over here?" and then watch them from afar say "Where are you? How can I help you?" ... It's pretty great.

Anyway, I picked up the phone in my department and hit "8-1" to go over the intercom, and set the phone very carefully on the table. I then went over to Dianne and told her a customer was calling about a watch that had broken and they apparently had a problem using the switchboard to get to the right department. So I asked her to come over and take the call.

As she was leaving her booth, a manager stopped her and asked her to start putting the jewelry away since we were closing soon, but Dianne told her she had to take a call in my department. The manager understood and said to do it after and that she'd wait for her in the department (managers have to watch associates put the jewelry away for security reasons). Dianne came over and I carefully handed her the phone as to not make any noise. When she put the phone up to her face to answer the call, throughout the entire store rang the words...


She then stared straight ahead and hung up the phone quickly. The look on her face was absolutely priceless. I still laugh to myself whenever I picture it. She promised she'd get me back even worse, and I'm still waiting for it. I looked at the manager, who at this point was trying really hard to look angry, but even she couldn't help but grin a little. She did manage to say "Phil! That's not what the phones are for!"

Dianne, thank you for having a sense of humor.